Gunshot McCluskie

Insufficient Stories by Patrick Alexander

Gunshot McCluskie

Jimbo ‘Gunshot’ McCluskie was the quickest draw in a Japanese peasant village in the year 910. He had previously been the likely seventy-sixth quickest draw in the Old West, but he fell through a time portal and now he was number one. Now he was top dog around here, and these heathen chinky-chonks had best pay him mind.

“Watch this,” he said, and took his six-shooter out of its holster and fired a bullet out of it, into a bale of hay. The peasants all thought to themselves, “That is definitely the fastest we have ever seen that action performed. As far as we know,” they thought, “that is as fast as it’s possible to do whatever it was that was,” and they cowered and trembled, very reasonably.

“Y’all like that?” asked Jimbo of no peasant in particular, and shot off three more rounds, into more bales of hay. The peasants threw themselves to the ground and covered their heads in terrible fear.

One young man whispered desperately to his elder: “Uncle, we must do something, or soon all of our bales of hay will have small holes in them!” he said, except in Early Middle Japanese.

“Quiet, you fool,” the old man replied. “Here is a god who holds thunder in his hand. Would you have us die for hay?”

“Uncle,” the young man explained, “as the second son of a lowly peasant in a society where powerful men take multiple wives, I am statistically unlikely to be married. Therefore I relieve myself amorously by means of congress with the bales of hay, and have become emotionally attached to them. I love the bales of hay, Uncle. I love them.”

“If that is so, boy,” hissed the elder, “then our bales of hay already have small holes in them, and few more should suit your purposes ideally. I daresay,” he added, with a sharp-toothed look, “consummately.”

“But Uncle, surely there is a principle at stake.”

While these frantic murmurings continued, Jimbo ‘Gunshot’ McCluskie realised that he had run out of bullets, and had no means of acquiring more. He reflected on this as best his flaccid brain could manage, and after some moments quietly fled. When the peasants finally nerved themselves to look up, Jimbo was nowhere to be seen.

But the next day he came back to the village, looking for food. The peasants had a good laugh and then beat the shit out of him.

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